Photo – Thomas Pollard, Kylie Whitford, Bronnie Taylor, Salina Woolley, Dr Fortunato Mazzei, Cr Doug Hawkins, Susan Heyman, and Kevin Anderson
Quirindi Hospital is now home to two new sustainable accommodation units, supporting visiting frontline health staff, as part of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s $35 million Regional Housing Package.
Since June, Hunter New England Health has delivered 22 units in the towns of Gunnedah, Quirindi, Walcha, Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell and Scone.
Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has joined Nationals Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor at Quirindi Hospital to meet staff who are set to benefit from the new modular accommodation.
“It’s great to be here with the Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor to officially open this modern, sustainable accommodation for health workers in Quirindi,” Mr Anderson said.
“Last time the Minister visited our region, she had an opportunity to tour similar accommodation in Gunnedah so it’s great to welcome her back to the region to mark the completion in this investment in our health workforce.
“We know that the biggest barrier to moving to our regional towns is accommodation so we are rolling out the welcome mat the health workers and I am confident that these brand-new units will attract the health workers that Quirindi needs.”
Nationals Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the NSW Nationals in Government are committed to ensuring frontline health workers are supported in every way possible so they can provide the best health care for our communities.
“Recruiting and retaining health workers to our regional and rural areas is a challenge faced nationally and these accommodation units are a small step toward overcoming this challenge,” Mrs Taylor said.
“An important part of attracting health workers to rural and regional NSW is ensuring they have accommodation that’s clean, safe and in close proximity to their workplace, coupled with nice, comfortable amenities and that is exactly what these new units deliver.”
Quirindi has two units and will be used to support visiting specialists, medical officers, nurses, midwives and allied health staff on short term contracts. They will also be available to staff who have permanently relocated to Quirindi while they secure local housing.
Hunter New England Health A/Chief Executive, Dr Paul Craven said the investment would support the District’s ongoing recruitment efforts.
“We’re working tirelessly to attract health workers to our regional and rural facilities. These new units are one of the many benefits available to health workers who want to gain invaluable experience, while seeing all that life has to offer in the country,” Dr Craven said.
“Colleagues who have stayed in the units are really pleased with the level of thought and effort that’s gone into their design. Built with sustainability principles in mind, each unit also features a built-in kitchen and laundry, study nook, solar panels, water tanks and decks.”
Hunter New England Health is furthering its commitment in safe and comfortable housing for health workers, with an additional 20 single-bed accommodation units planned across a number of sites in 2023.
The District received $20 million as part of the $35 million Regional Housing Package, which aims to drive construction in the regions and deliver critical health accommodation packages for staff.
This $35 million dollar Regional Housing Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package.